From the US Census:
Facts for the 2007 Holiday Season
The holiday season is a time for gathering and celebrating with friends and family, reflection, and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection.
It's in the Mail
Pieces of mail the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
The number of malls and shopping centers dotting the U.S. landscape as of 2005, an increase of approximately 12,000 since 1990.
Places whose names are associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 1,828 in 2006); Santa Claus, Indiana (2,324); Santa Claus, Georgia (245); Noel, Missouri (1,555); and - if you know about reindeer - the village of Rudolph, Wisconsin (419) and Dasher, Georgia (803). There is also Snowflake, Arizona (5,157).
Retail sales by the nation's department stores in December 2006. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $21.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.
Other U.S. retailers with sizable jumps in sales between November and December 2006 were book stores (86 percent); clothing stores (49 percent); jewelry stores (155 percent); radio, TV, and other electronics stores (60 percent); and sporting goods stores (65 percent).
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and June 2007 was $142.6 million. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($13.4 million
worth) during the same period.
Number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2005; they employed 2,480 people. California led the nation with 18 locations and 76 people employed.
The number of people employed at department stores in December 2006.
Retail employment typically swells during the holiday season, last year rising by an estimated 40,600 from November and 174,700 from October.
The number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2005. These businesses, which employed 253,677 workers, are a popular source of holiday gifts. Their sales: $162 billion, of which 40.5 percent were attributable to e-commerce. California led the nation in the number of these establishments and their employees, with 2,383 and 30,800, respectively.
Value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2006 - the highest total for any month last year.
The value of candles shipped in 2002 by the nation's manufacturers. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations.